Samsung Galaxy Spica Features Android, DivX

Samsung has rolled out a junior sibling to its Galaxy smartphone, the Spica Galaxy. Spica, like Galaxy, runs Google's Android OS. It also features a 3.2-inch touch-screen and supports DivX, for enjoying video without file-format hassles.

Samsung released a new Android-running smartphone on Nov. 16, the Galaxy Spica. A junior sibling to Samung's Galaxy, which arrived in Europe this summer, the Spica is now available in Europe and the CIS (the Commonwealth of Independent States, or the former USSR) and will eventually arrive in parts of the Middle East and Africa. A U.S. debut is less certain.
The Spica measures 4.5 by 2.2 by 0.5 inches and is dominated by its 3.2-inch screen, an HVGA with a resolution of 320 by 480 pixels. It runs Android version 1.5, is powered by an 800MHz processor and is compatible with HSDPA 3.6Mbps (900/2100) and EDGE/GPRS (850/900/1800/1900) networks.
Spica is the first Android phone to support DivX, which makes it easy to watch high-quality video without file format issues. There's a full Web browser, and it's of course tied to Google services, such as Google Maps, Google Search, Gmail and Google Talk, as well as to Google's Android Market and social-networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.
There's a 3.5mm ear jack, a 3-megapixel camera with autofocus, built-in GPS, Bluetooth 2.1, WiFi connectivity and USB 2.0 and MicroUSB ports. The internal memory is 180MB, and with a MicroSD card, up to 32GB can be supported.
"Samsung has made a great effort to strengthen our smartphone line up with a wide range of innovative products for every user," said JK Shin, an executive VP with Samsung Electronics, in a statement. "The Samsung Galaxy Spica, powered by Android, is the perfect fit for users who want to enjoy a powerful and fast mobile experience."
Samsung has been a strong player through a difficult year for the industry. In the second quarter of 2009, its market share rose a record-high 19 percent and it shipped 52.3 million handsets worldwide. In the third quarter, its market share rose again, as it shipped 60.1 million handsets.
"Samsung had a strong third quarter of 2009, with touch-screen devices, qwerty phones and smartphones driving sales in the mature markets of Western Europe and the U.S. It also refreshed older products making steady sales in emerging markets," wrote Carolina Milanesi, an analyst with Gartner. Milanesi expects mid-tier products to further boost the company through the holiday sales season.
Samsung did not release pricing details for Spica, which are likely tied to individual carriers.